Wednesday, February 12, 2014

What is the Mass?

Fr. Douglas Martis, director of The Liturgical Institute, offers a powerful reflection:

Everytime I'm at Mass, I can't help but think that we have the most beautiful, poetic prayer possible, but if what we say does not resonate in our hearts, then it is empty and meaningless.
It is lip service.
There are three things that we must always remember:
1. Who God is.
2. Who we are.
3. What Mass is. 
WHO IS GOD? Thinkers have for centuries tried to describe, to put into words what God is like. 
What is especially unique to Christianity is that we believe in a triune God, a Trinity who is a relationship of persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Everyone knows St. Patrick’s image for the Trinity: the clover leaf. 
Pope Benedict describes the Trinity as a song of love. He says that essential to God is the quality of communication, communion.

The Trinity is a dialogue, an eternal song of love. And what is song but a combination of word and breath. Here we have the most perfect word: Jesus. And the sweetest breath, the Holy Spirit. 
WHO ARE WE? Another thing that we have got to remember, that we often forget, is that WE NEED NOT BE. 
We are contingent.
We do not have to exist. 
It is only God who keeps us in existence at every moment. And that is something we ought to be grateful for all the time. 
WHAT IS THE MASS? Why do we have Mass? What’s its purpose? We answer this question at every Mass. At the Orate fratres, we say the purpose of Mass: For the praise and glory of his name, for our good and the good of all his holy Church. 
That’s it. We come to Mass to praise God (for what he’s done for us in Christ—and for keeping us in existence) and to pray for our needs (ultimately that we will be united with him forever in heaven). The Mass isn’t so much about what we can get out of it, but what we give in praise to God.

Here's more about the Liturgical Institute:

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